New Zealand: The New Zealand Walking Access Commission announced to enhance the ‘Walking Access Mapping System’ (WAMS). The innovative mapping system is designed to help New Zealanders and overseas visitors identify land in New Zealand that the public can access. It displays topographical maps and aerial imagery of most of the country and includes an enquiry function that allows members of the public to submit their questions and issues direct to the Commission.
The WAMS uses GIS technology to allow users to zoom in, using topographic or aerial view, to investigate publically accessible land in any part of New Zealand. Users can also print maps and use a ‘Draw’ tool to measure distances between various points.
Commission Chief Executive Mark Neeson said the enhancements, due to go live before the end of the year, would include an improved user-interface and a separate mobile-friendly version that would be accessible on smartphones and other mobile devices. The Commission would also open up the system to other public and private organisations that wanted to display their outdoor-related information to the public, he said.
“The mapping system will become a platform for organisations to display all kinds of useful information to people interested in getting out and about in the outdoors. Users will be able to sort the information to find many different points of interest, from walking and cycling tracks to fly fishing access points.”
The free-to-use Walking Access Mapping System was also a valuable resource for landholders, Neeson observed.
“The benefits of the mapping system for groups like walkers, anglers and hunters are huge, but these maps are also vitally important for landholders. Detailed maps that inform the public about land that is and isn’t publically accessible are essential if people are to know the extent and limits of their legal access.”
Many local authorities hold public access information for their own regions but WAMS is the first time it has been unified into a nationwide system. Recreationalists, landholders and other people from a wide range of sectors, including the property sector, are now using WAMS as their site of choice.
Source: NZ Geospatial Strategy